Haven of peace in Swanton Morley

A reassuring haven of peace has been created at a school for children of soldiers serving overseas and their classmates.The Rainbow Room has been specially designed at Swanton Morley VC Primary School as a calm and welcoming place where youngsters from the nearby Robertson Barracks, fellow pupils and parents can talk in confidence about their thoughts and emotions.

A reassuring haven of peace has been created at a school for children of soldiers serving overseas and their classmates.

The Rainbow Room has been specially designed at Swanton Morley VC Primary School as a calm and welcoming place where youngsters from the nearby Robertson Barracks, fellow pupils and parents can talk in confidence about their thoughts and emotions.

Almost half of the village school's 160 pupils are from the barracks, the Norfolk base of the Light Dragoons and associated regiments.

Many of their fathers have been deployed on reconnaissance missions in danger zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.


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School pastoral assistant Helen Brown said: “There is great stress on families of servicemen who go on tours of duty and this can have a knock-on effect across the school, including classmates and friends.

“Children really do care about one another. Our new Rainbow Room is a fantastic facility - a safe, peaceful, child-friendly place where all our pupils can come when they feel emotional, poorly or simply want to chat.

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“Sometimes they'll sit and write letters or e-mails to their dads, to help them feel better.”

The £15,000 Rainbow Room was created by Norwich-based property development group Targetfollow, free of charge, as a Business in the Community project, using local firm Woodfellows from Mattishall.

“We had an old reading room but it was far too big and busy, and not at all suitable for confidential chats and dealing with delicate issues,” said Mrs Brown.

Headteacher Gareth Flemington said: “We're still pinching ourselves and can't quite believe what a terrific facility we've been given, without any strings attached.”

As part of the new room, all of the pupils at the school, aged four to 11, and staff took part in a major art project.

They created dozens of colourful plaster tiles that now form a mosaic mural in the Rainbow Room.

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